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And now, as an inspiration for all of us to continue working on this wonderful music, my candidate for the greatest interpreter of Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words. Maria Grinberg approaches this music as a singer would - she knows where a singer would take breaths. She has tremendous dynamic range, complete technical command, and an ability to turn each of these into an exciting masterpiece.
Farmgirl, don't feel bad about the amount of practice you put in. No one will judge you for it - after all we all have such different lives, different demands placed on us, etc. We all do the best we can, I think. Your vid (up later today) is heart warming - delightfully domestic and honestly showing a snippet of real life from your corner of the world. Its in my 'top 3'!
By the way, you've reminded me that I forgot to give credit to my sources in the last 2 posts about Mendelssohn's life. I've shamelessly quoted huge chunks from the 'Great Musicians' and 'Great Composers' series which were on sale some decades ago, which I had lying around. (When the recital started I realised that I knew nothing about the composer and wanted to learn more. We thought that some people on the thread might be in the same boat. - hence the 'info')x
Dipsey, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you took time to quote those words. It was really interesting to know his life. I look forward to reading more about him every night.
Valencia, Op 85 No 1: Very nice work again! This song, while a slower one, still keeps moving with those changing arpeggios, so you don't really get a "breather". As for the recording quality, what are you using? It sounds like you're using a digital piano. You can take this very file from the digital piano and use a software piano. You can download a free one like pianoteq (OK, free DEMO) and try using their different piano sounds to see what you like. I'd be curious to hear what that would sound like.
Wayne33yrs, Op 85 No 2: I really like your delicacy in this piece, it's a great contrast with then the more dramatic low octave section Great ending!
Rupak, Op 85 No 4: You play this so beautifully! I love this piece, one of my favorites, and it's pretty intricate since the melody is pretty much interwoven and in the same range as the accompaniment. Wonderful job, but don't leave us hanging for the rest!
Ganddalf, Op 85 No 5: Very regal sounding with the "trumpets" doing the dotted rhythms. I'm not familiar with this one, but it seems like there's lot of big chords in this. You handle them very well by not tensing up as things go along. Nicely done again!
Numerian, Op 85 No 6: This one has 3 distinct layers to it (bass, middle staccato, and upper melody) and each can be heard very clearly. Nice pedaling choices! The ending kind of reminds my of some opera aria endings back and forth between V-I. Thank for playing!
Greener, Op 102 No 1: Wow, the LH certainly has to jump around! You handle that very well without having any pauses between the LH low notes and the middle notes. Thanks for the homeless theme too, not a subject people like to think about, but it is a very sad state for them - many of whom are mentally ill.
Farmgirl, Op 102 No 2: I must say, you crack me up! The dog head popping up at the bottom of the screen and your husband playing with a pastic bag in the background LOL. I'm not sure of this is what Mendelssohn had in mind specifically, but I think he would have approved. All that aside, I think your playing reflected the somber, hymn-like quality of this song. Thank you!
AimeeO, Op 102 No 3: I know what you mean about the tempo thing. I do believe that tempos back then were often slower, and I think the speed you play this at gives it the needed feeling of levity. Great work on this tough piece!
Ladychen, Op 102 No 4: Beautifully played! Another piece I need to learn. I really appreciate your sensitive approach to this song, especially the penultimate note in the melody letting that ring and hang there making us wait for the resolution.
Ladychen, Op 102 No 5: I know what you mean about the off-beat notes - I can imagine that without enough time for them to settle they could become uneven and perhaps a bit more off-beat than they're supposed to (you handled them well though and I didn't hear any of that in your playing). Great flourish at 1:09!
Greener, Op 102 No 6: Playing slow pieces are often hard because of the work that you have to do to keep the musical thought going so the listener's interest doesn't wane. I think your tempo choice was just fine in this instance, speeding up the middle part and then coming back down a bit at cadences. Nicely done!
My comments to Op.85. Once again it was a very pleasing experience listening to the pieces.
85/1 by Valencia: You have good reason to be proud of your performance. Your playing is very melodic and the left hand comes out very clearly. 85/2 by Wayne: You handle this tricky piece with excellence. Actually I haven't listened often to it, but now I realise that this is another "pearl". 85/3 by Morodiene: Listening to your performance put me in good mood. I have heard very fast performances of it, but actually I like it the way you did it. 85/4 by Rupak: This is a very beautiful melody along with an intricate accompanying part. Your performance was very beautiful, and I liked your dynamics. 85/5 by myself: I decided to pick this piece because I have been playing it for many years, and nobody else showed any interest in it. Disregarding the intro and the coda it is a four part "choral" and the melody has much in common with some of Mendelssohn's choir works. 85/6 by Numerian: This is another great performance. I appreciate that you play these pieces so lightly. Very appealing, indeed.
Finally my comments to Op.102. This is the book I have paid less attention to, but after listening to your performances I understand that this is another fine collection of pieces.
102/1 by Greener: This is a difficult piece to play, with very challenging movements in the left hand. Still you manage to make good music out of it. Very well done. 102/2 by FarmGirl: Thank you for sharing this beautiful melodic piece. I understand your domestic situation very well, and I always through out the cat before recording anything. 102/3 by AimeeO: Fine Presto playing. I appreciate your joyful performance of this piece. 102/4 by LadyChen: Beautiful! The "voice" stands well out along with the intricate "piano part". Obviously it is a good thing to learn thing at early age. 102/5 by LadyChen: Another very charming piece. It sounded quite impressive to me. 102/6 by Greener: A fine ending of the recital. After all these different pieces this song somehow puts the mind at rest.
Greener - Op. 102 No. 6 - The music would have inspired those kinds of images (although the jumping fish was more inspired than I could have been, but quite anticipating of the the final serence triumphs), because you played it so that it would. If you can follow that sentence. It was wonderful.
FarmGirl - op. 102 No. 2 - Wonderful interpretation skills and dynamics. Your soul went into it.
Perhaps "more music" is always the answer, no matter what the question might be! - Qwerty53
Just some final thoughts after having participated in this recital and listened to all contributions.
It has been a great experience, and I'm proud of belonging to a group with so many skilled players. For my own part I think I have learnt a lot, not only during the study of my own pieces, but also by listening to all of you. I'm an amateur player with no musical education and I almost never had piano lessons. Therefore the impulses I got from this event are all very useful.
Thanks to all who participated and last, but not least to the organisers.
I'm going to continue playing the Mendelssohn pieces, but of course I also look forward to the upcoming Grieg recital,and hope to see you all there.
A little belated, but....what a wonderful recital! Itâ€™s such a pleasure to listen to all these performances. Iâ€™ve created a playlist so that I can listen to the recordings as I work here at my computer and I will continue to do so into the future. Thanks to everyone for all their efforts and for sharing their playing!
And thank you for listening to my submissions and for your supportive comments (and wouter for the flowers :)). Thank you to Farmgirl, pianostudent88, Morodiene, Dynamobt, DanS, peterws, Ganddalf, Recaredo, AimeeO, Wisebuff, Greener, dire tonic for their specific comments! Iâ€™ve kept the comments so that I can refer back to them.
Farmgirl and Wisebuff asked about the videosâ€¦Iâ€™ll have to ask LimeFriday what she used to make them, I think windows movie maker? I think she did random searches on the internet for pictures.
Wisebuff Iâ€™m happy to hear you liked the 85/1 and are thinking to learn it. Pretty isnâ€™t it? I found learning a little music theory helpful to memorizing this piece in the sense that it helped me to recognize some of the chords that form the arpeggios.
Oh yes and thank you Dipsy for the daily info on Mendelssohnâ€™s life. I loved reading about him each day! And thank you Rossy and Wayne for all your hard work for this recital.
Opus 85, no 1 - Valencia - How sweet and sentimental.. I think you did a great job with it Opus 85, no 2 - Wayne, this would have been much better if you were topless. Aside from that, I think you did really well with it and I think you've been hard on yourself! Great job! Opus 85, no 3 - Morodiene, another fantastic submission. I love the liveliness of it. Opus 85, no 4 - Rupak, that was awesome! Can't wait to hear the rest of it! You emote so well in this piece. Opus 85, no 5 - Gandalf, again, fantastic. It sounds like an enjoyable afternoon. Opus 85, no 6 - Numerian, love this one too. Sounds like an adventurous day out!
Opus 102, no 1 - Greener, this is one of those ones I didn't know before but I'm glad I do now. It has a nice drama to it (I guess homelessness can be rather dramatic). This is a really nice performance. Opus 102, no 2 - Oh, Farmgirl - I've been looking forward to this one since you turned it in and said your husband said you looked homeless, and there was swearing involved. This sounds like life in my house, so I knew it would be awesome. And it is! Your performance was great. I loved that you were singing along(very Gouldish!). You did not look homeless, though! I think the piece was the perfect soundtrack to the domestic situation. Opus 102, no 3 - Yikes. I think I grabbed the wrong one! (not that the other was too much better! still too much tension in the second half!) I blame it on WMM. Will try again for quarterly recital! I did learn so much from doing this.. a lot of it will help in the future. Opus 102, no 4 - LadyChen - It's so pretty! You definitely got the feeling across. Good job eradicating the old mistakes, as well. Opus 102, no 5 - LadyChen - Wow! That one has a lot going on in it, and you did a nice job tempering it and making it sound natural. I like it! Opus 102, no 6 - Greener - The speed was fine - not only by itself, but it works well for closing out the set as well. Nice playing!
Oh, and Rossy, I do have an appreciation society for WMM. BillyO and I routinely burn copies of WMM as sacrifice to the Microsoft Gods in our backyard. I am thinking of burning my entire PC(containing WMM) on September 14, 2013, in commemoration of WMM's 13th birthday. If anyone would like to start their own chapter, please PM me your information, and I will send you an introductory kit containing matches and lighter fluid.